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yes you canAll too often, a professional may become aware of a risk of harm to a child, but does not report that suspicion to a children’s aid society (CAS) based on the unfounded belief that “privacy”
prevents them from doing so.

The Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth and the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario have worked together to develop this resource to clarify some common misunderstandings about privacy.

CASs operate under the authority of the Child and Family Services Act. This act and its regulations give them broad duties and powers relating to the protection of children, including the authority to conduct investigations into allegations of harm and review reports of children in need of protection.

Despite this broad authority, health providers, police, teachers and social service workers sometimes refuse to provide information to child protection workers. While well-intentioned, refusal to share information about a child in need of protection may leave the child at risk of harm.

The Provincial Advocate and the Information and Privacy Commissioner are aware that there is confusion about different sets of privacy guidelines and policies. During a number of Coroners’ inquests into the deaths of children, CAS case workers have testified about the frustration they experience when trying to obtain information from other parties. Professionals working with children must ensure that they do not wrongly see privacy as a barrier to disclosing personal information about children in need of protection to CAS workers.

Please take a few minutes to review this important information. We encourage you to share it with your colleagues.

pdfDownload the Brochure Here